probably the most famous chess pieces in the world!
The Lewis Chessmen, of Viking origin, are believed to be the oldest surviving chess pieces in the world. Dating from 12th century and made from walrus ivory and whales' teeth, there are 93 in total. They probably represent the most important Medieval chess pieces to be found.
Where were the Isle of Lewis chessmen sets found?
The Isle of Lewis Chessmen are so-called because of their discovery in early 1831 on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. The Isle of Lewis chess pieces were found in a sand bank at the head of Camas Uig on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis. In 12th century, when they were originally buried, the Western Isles formed part of the Kingdom of Norway.
How did the Isle of Lewis chess piece sets get there?
It is widely believed that they had been deliberately buried by a merchant while being transported from Norway to Ireland to be traded. This belief is supported by the fact that, although there are some pieces missing, there are the constituent pieces to comprise about four chess piece sets. They represent a cultural link between the two countries.
Where are the Isle of Lewis chess pieces now?
The Isle of Lewis chess pieces are now housed in the British Museum, London which exhibits 82 of them and in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland which has 11.
Replica Isle of Lewis Chess Sets
Beautifully made and amazingly detailed Isle of Lewis replica chess set pieces and other Medieval chess sets can be purchased now at CheckmateChessSets. Our replica Isle of Lewis Chessmen replicas are made from crushed stone (SAC) or marble (Mascott) combined with a resin mixture.